Tips To Hiring A Contractor

As Realtors, we are often faced with recommending repairs to be made by the seller prior to listing a property with the goal of obtaining the highest possible sales price.  This is not mandatory, but sellers ask what can be done to reach their goals, and we often do see some areas that need a little attention to satisfy the scrutinizing buyers. In order to do so, many are faced with hiring a handyman or contractor, so I thought this may be useful for our visitors.

1. Get at least three written estimates.  You will be surprised at the difference in prices from each.

2. If it is a bigger job, get references and call to check on the work. If possible, go by and visit earlier jobs.

3. Check with the local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau for complaints.  This can be done online.

4. Be sure that the contract states exactly what is to be done and how change orders will be handled.

5. Make as small a down payment as possible so you won’t lose a lot if the contractor fails to complete the job.  Unfortunately, this can and does happen, so insist that you do not pay the entire balance up front.

6. Be sure that the contractor has the necessary permits, licenses, and insurance, otherwise, your repairs may come back to haunt you later.

7. Be sure that the contract states when the work will be completed and what recourse you have if isn’t. Also remember in many instances you can cancel a contract within three business days of signing it.

8. Ask if the contractor’s workers will do the entire job or whether subcontractors will do parts.

9. Get the contractor to indemnify you if work does not meet any local building codes or regulations.

10. Be sure that the contract specifies the contractor will clean up after the job and be responsible for any damage.

11. Guarantee that materials used meet your specifications.

12. Don’t make the final payment until you’re satisfied with the work.

I hope this helps!  When you are ready to sell, give us a call.  We would love to see your house, and discuss our qualifications to be your agent!

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